Posted on: 05 January 2016

Staff from Premierline Business Insurance put their business acumen to the test last month, completing the company’s second year of the Apprentice Challenge to raise an impressive £3942.58 for St John’s Hospice.

The two teams who occupied stalls in St Nicholas Arcade in Lancaster on Saturday 5th December were tasked to envisage and create a product or service to appeal to Christmas shoppers and to sell as much as possible. Both teams – The Hospice Helpers and Insuring a White Christmas - used their skills, knowledge and just £60 to develop their initial ideas in preparation for the day.

The Hospice Helpers team – Mitchell Hayden, Rob Morrison, Rachel Taylor, Kerry Brakewell, Jenny Boland and Ben Rasmussen – were announced ultimate winners of the competition.

The team ran a tombola, sold vinyl bowls and enlisted the help of a local photography company to offer Christmas themed photos for shoppers on the day.

Mitchell Hayden, Team leader of Hospice Helpers said ‘As a team, we all worked really well together with everyone bringing something different to the table.’

The team also obtained a number of gifts for their tombola, with many of the prizes generously donated by local businesses.

“At the beginning of the day I didn’t imagine that we would have raised the amount we did, £1400, with the majority of the total coming from the tombola. We were also fortunate to be handed a cheque made out directly to the Hospice for £250!

I am sure I speak for everyone when I say it was an absolute pleasure to be part of something that raises money for such a worthwhile cause!”

The Insuring a White Christmas team – Chris Ferguson, Dan Ingamells, Sophie Quinn, Shahan Begh, Darren Watson and Pippa Kimberley – also put in a fantastic effort selling Christmas themed candles.

The team negotiated a 20% discount on scented candles and hand-decorated these to create candle characters: Santa, Rudolph, Elf and Snowman.

Dan Ingamells, who has been praised for his outstanding efforts overall said “The main selling day was a great success and we sold almost everything we had. We ensured that we were being publicised wherever possible and featured in The Lancaster Guardian the Thursday before.”

The team were also complimented for donating their candles to local people in the wake of the floods and power cuts in Lancashire.

“On Sunday morning following the flooding we went into Lancaster town centre to offer our remaining 100 candles for a small donation towards the hospice. We also donated candles to The Bay radio station.

The team are incredibly grateful to have been given the chance to participate in this event, and totally humbled by the generosity, care and appreciation the public have towards the hospice.”

Premierline is part of the Allianz group and shares in its corporate charity partnership with ‘Help the Hospices’. The amount raised through the apprentice challenge will be matched by the company, bringing the fundraising total to £7885.16

Sam Watson, Branch Manager, ABSL said “Both teams did a fantastic job and put all of their skills and creativity into producing some brilliant products and services which were a great success on the day.  The company are proud of the dedication and enthusiasm shown by all 12 staff members who took part in the challenge. Well done!”

Alongside the Apprentice Challenge, staff also took part in a Christmas Shoe Box appeal for patients at the hospice. The 20 teams within the company made a total of 26 boxes full of Christmas goodies, games, food and drinks for the hospice out patients.

Karen Crossley, Community Fundraiser for St John’s Hospice said ‘The apprentice teams did an amazing job and we are totally impressed and grateful for the amount they have raised and the time that they have put aside for the hospice.

‘The shoe box appeal was also a fantastic success and our patients really appreciated the thought and effort that went into them. The hospice relies on this kind of support of the local community to continue to provide care and support for patients and their families.’

Premierline has been raising money for St Johns Hospice since 2009. The Apprentice Challenge and shoe box appeal are just a few of the many fundraising events that staff members have taken part in this year.

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Fundraising supports at st johns hospice

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Fundraising supports St John’s Hospice

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